Career Change to Software Engineering

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I was recently asked for some advice and for some feedback on a portfolio and thought I'd share some general advice here for presenting your portfolio and resume as you make the transition into a software engineering career.

If you're looking to make a career change into software engineering, you're in luck. Software engineering is one of the most in-demand professions, and the demand is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. However, competition for entry-level software engineering jobs can be tough, and that's why having a well-presented portfolio and resume can make all the difference.

Use your portfolio to highlight your problem solving skills

When it comes to your portfolio, your projects are the main event. It's important to focus on the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Was it a particular skill, tool, technology, or architectural pattern? Make sure to highlight what you learned from each project. This will not only showcase your technical skills but also your ability to learn and adapt. Remember to present your projects in a clear and concise manner, with attention to detail and good documentation.

GitHub is a popular platform to showcase your work. Uploading your projects to GitHub can help potential employers easily review your code and see the work you've done. It's important to maintain good coding practices and to keep your repositories up to date. Be sure to include a link to your GitHub profile on your resume and portfolio so that potential employers can easily access and review your work.

Emphasise your transferable skills and tailor your resume for each opportunity

As a beginner in software engineering, it's essential to emphasize your soft skills. These include your ability to learn, determine project requirements, communicate effectively, and collaborate with others. These skills are just as important as technical skills when it comes to working in a team. Be sure to highlight how you have applied these skills in your past experiences, including any team projects or extracurricular activities.

While a standard resume is great, customizing your resume for each employer is even better. Take the time to review the job postings of the companies you're interested in and highlight where your skills align with their values and requirements. By doing so, you'll have a much higher chance of getting a call back. Make sure to tailor your resume to each job posting and emphasize the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the role.

Finally, don't be afraid to seek feedback from others. Reach out to software engineers in your network and ask them to review your portfolio and resume. Their feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and give you a better chance of landing your dream job. Consider joining online communities, such as LinkedIn or Reddit, where you can connect with other software engineers and receive valuable feedback on your work. Remember to take the feedback constructively and use it to improve your portfolio and resume.

Transitioning into software engineering can be challenging, but with a well-presented portfolio and resume, you can increase your chances of landing your first job in the field. Focus on highlighting your project examples, emphasizing your soft skills, customizing your resume, showcasing your work on GitHub, and seeking feedback. Good luck in your new career!